SoK: MEV Countermeasures: Theory and Practice
Reading group: Mathis Gontier Delaunay presented "SoK: MEV Countermeasures: Theory and Practice" at 1A318 the 24/11/2023 at 10h00.
Blockchains offer strong security guarantees, but they cannot protect the ordering of transactions. Powerful players, such as miners, sequencers, and sophisticated bots, can reap significant profits by selectively including, excluding, or re-ordering user transactions. Such profits are called Miner/Maximal Extractable Value or MEV. MEV bears profound implications for blockchain security and decentralization. While numerous countermeasures have been proposed, there is no agreement on the best solution. Moreover, solutions developed in academic literature differ quite drastically from what is widely adopted by practitioners. For these reasons, this paper systematizes the knowledge of the theory and practice of MEV countermeasures. The contribution is twofold. First, we present a comprehensive taxonomy of 30 proposed MEV countermeasures, covering four different technical directions. Secondly, we empirically studied the most popular MEV-auction-based solution with rich blockchain and mempool data. We also present the Mempool Guru system, a public service system that collects, persists, and analyzes the Ethereum mempool data for research. In addition to gaining insights into MEV auction platforms' real-world operations, our study shed light on the prevalent censorship by MEV auction platforms as a result of the recent OFAC sanction, and its implication on blockchain properties.